While Nancy outlived her husband and two twin daughters, she left behind three daughters, a son, and 84 grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren, according to the Independent.ie.
She would have turned 108 on Oct. 16. The Independent reported her as saying on her birthday last year: “I don't feel 107. I feel half that, to be honest. It's all about good food, good friends, and always looking on the bright side of life. I think that's the secret to a good life.”
She added, “When God wants me, he will come and take me but for now, I will keep enjoying my life.”
Louise documented many of her adventures with Nancy on her Facebook page, “Living and Laughing with Lou.” On Sept. 10, she remembered her grandmother in a special Facebook post.
“I love you granny,” she wrote. “You were my world for so long & for so many others, but now we must let god, my dad & all the angels & saints be blessed with your presence. Forever the other half of my heart, forever my reason to smile even when I feel low.”
Louise also spoke at Nancy’s burial on Sept. 12. She later shared the contents of a “letter of love” that she wrote with Nancy, addressed “To the people of Ireland and all across the world,” in anticipation of her upcoming 108th birthday.
“Life has been very unusual in the last 16 months or so, but we have survived and we have coped,” Nancy began the letter. “And that is the main thing I am here to remind you all.”
Referencing the pandemic, Nancy focused on a message of hope.
“In life we will learn, as I have on so many occasions, that resilience and patience are vital to see your way through a troublesome passage,” the letter continued. “In my lifetime, I've been through many tough times that I wish to recall, but even though the ache is in my memory of the pains and struggles, I choose to focus on the good, the positive, the other side of the story, the part where I survived.”
She added: “Whenever you struggle, just think to yourself, if Granny Nancy can survive and come through wars, pandemics, times of poverty, straying as well as losing many members of my family and friends, you can too,” she encouraged. “And that is why we're writing this letter, to give you hope to keep going.”
At the funeral Mass, which was live streamed on Sept. 12, Louise stressed, “With Granny seated now in heaven, we now know we have someone very special to pray to when in times of need.” Granny Nancy was, she later described, a “real-life miracle.”
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Katie Yoder is a correspondent in CNA's Washington, D.C. bureau. She covers pro-life issues, the U.S. Catholic bishops, public policy, and Congress. She previously worked for Townhall.com, National Review, and the Media Research Center.